This decision concerned the costs of a substantial building & construction trial involving various claims and counterclaims. The contractor (CMC) succeeded in recovery on its claim and the principal (WICET) succeeded in recovery on its counterclaim. The decision considered three important matters.
First, the effectiveness of formal offers to settle under Part 5 of Chapter 9 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) (UCPR). Flanagan J concluded that a party cannot take advantage of the special costs consequences under rr.360 and 361 in a case involving claim and counterclaim unless its offer distinguishes between the outcome on the claim and counterclaim.
Secondly, the appropriate exercise of the Court’s general costs discretion where the plaintiff succeeds on its claim and the defendant succeeds on its counterclaim.
Thirdly, the circumstances in which a formal offer made under the UCPR, which is not effective under rr.360 or 361, can be taken into account by the Court in exercising its general costs discretion.
Stewart Webster appeared for the plaintiff, led by Mr O’Donnell QC. Thomson Geer were the instructing solicitors.
The judgment is available here.